Anne Heche’s cause of death has been revealed after her death following a car crash in Los Angeles earlier this month.
According to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, Heche died of “inhalation and thermal injuries.” The coroner’s report also lists “sternal fracture due to blunt trauma” as what is termed a “significant condition” in her death.
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The coroner’s public information officer, Sarah Ardalani, tells The Hollywood Reporter that an inhalation injury is not necessarily specific to smoke, and that a thermal injury is a burn. Ardalani adds that more details should be forthcoming from the coroner’s office, pending further tests.
Heche’s death is listed as accidental, with her date of death on the report posted as Aug. 11. Heche’s publicist previously told THR that the star was taken off life support Aug. 14 after having spent several days in a coma.
The star’s Mini Cooper ran off the road Aug. 5 and collided with a two-story residence in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles, causing “structural compromise and erupting in heavy fire,” the L.A. Fire Department said.
She suffered burns and a severe anoxic brain injury as a result of the incident. Heche was later determined to be brain-dead, which California law considers to be legally dead, but remained on life support so her organs could be matched for donation, according to her rep.
The actress got her start on the soap opera Another World, which earned her a Daytime Emmy Award in 1991. She is also known for roles in the films Donnie Brasco, Volcano, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Wag the Dog and Six Days, Seven Nights. Her additional TV credits include Men in Trees and Hung.
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